Early Beginnings

The Municipal Clerk is the oldest of public servants in local government, along with the tax collector. The profession traces back before Biblical times. For example, the modern Hebrew translation of Town Clerk is “Mazkir Ha’ir” which literally translated, means city or town Reminder: “The early keepers of archives were often called Remembrancers:” and before writing came into use their memory served as the public record.

Colonial Development

When the early colonists came to America they set up forms of local government to which they had been accustomed, and the office of clerk was one of the first to be established. When the colonists first settled in Plymouth, Massachusetts, they quickly appointed a person to act as recorder. That person kept all the vital records for birth, marriages and deaths for the church, as well as various other records of appointments, deeds, meetings, and the election of officers at the annual town meeting.


Over the years, Municipal Clerks have become the hub of government, the direct link between the inhabitants of their community and their government. The Clerk is the historian of the community, for the entire recorded history of the town (city) and its people is in his or her care.

The eminent political scientist, Professor William Bennett Munro, writing in one of the first textbooks on municipal administration (1934), stated: “No other office in municipal service has so many contracts. It serves the mayor, the city council, the city manager (when there is one), and all administrative departments without exception. All of them call upon it, almost daily, for some service or information. Its work is not spectacular, but it demands versatility, alertness, accuracy, and no end of patience. The public does not realize how many loose ends of city administration this office pulls together.”

These words, written more than 50 years ago, are even more appropriate today.

Joseph H. Cannell 1870-1892

Joseph H. Cannell 1893-1922
Frank T. Pettengill 1923-1934
John M. Carroll 1935-1964
J. Kevin Dunn 1965-1987
John F. Hanlon 1988-2005
Michael Matarazzo 2006-2017
Sergio Cornelio 2017-Present

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View current agendas and minutes for all boards and commissions.

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Preservation of archives is a proper and natural function of government. Public records are public property, and stewardship over records is a government responsibility. Like other public assets, the City’s records are held in trust for the citizens,  by custodians, that is, the heads of city departments.

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Business Certificates, Licenses & Permits

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Elections Department

The Registrar of Voters is responsible for maintaining procedures relating to the registration of voters, developing and maintaining annual list of voters, and conducting the annual census of residents of the City.

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City Census

2020 City Census By Mail
An annual city census mailer is sent to every household. You must respond if you are a resident of Everett whether you are a voter or not. Every person should be listed, including all children and non- U.S. citizens. This is a very important function to the city in regards to state funding as well as keeping your name listed as active on the voting lists.

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City Charter & Ordinances

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Dog Licenses

Download the Dog License Application (PDF), then mail the application and all of the required paperwork along with a check/money order to the City Clerk’s Office.

You may also go to the City Clerk’s Office with all the required paperwork, fee and the application.

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FOIA Public Records

What is a Public Record?
Every record that is made or received by a government entity or employee is presumed to be a public record unless a specific statutory exemption permits or requires it to be withheld in whole or in part. Exemptions may be found at Chapter 4, Section 7(26) of the Massachusetts General Laws.

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Fundraising Permits

Organizations that have obtained a Raffle and Bazaar permit application  from the City Clerk are entitled to conduct an unlimited amount of raffles during the period the permit is valid (1 year from the date of issuance). The permit also allows a maximum of 3 Nights to be sponsored.

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Inspectional Services Online Permitting

The City of Everett is pleased to offer residents, organizations and businesses the ability to apply, pay for, and receive building, electrical, gas, plumbing, and mechanical permits online. Users will also have the ability to check the status of permits and inspections.

This is the first phase of a multi-phase project to improve customer service and increase accessibility to government services.

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Physician Registration

Physicians practicing medicine in the City of Everett are required to file a Physicians Certificate of Registration under Massachusetts General Laws (MGL) Chapter 112, Section 8.

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Vital Records

Vital Records have been registered in Massachusetts since 1635. Statewide collection began in 1841. Everett has records for events that occurred from 1870 to the present day.

Please note the following facts about the records maintained by the City Clerk’s Office.Certain records are restricted from public access. Identification may be required for processing some orders. The City Clerk’s Office maintains no indexes or records on the Internet. Records are only available on site at the Clerk’s Office.

Note that only certified copies of records are issued by the Clerk’s Office regardless of intended use.

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Voter Registration

The deadline to register to vote in any election or regular town meeting is twenty (20) days prior to the date of the election or meeting. The deadline to register to vote in a special town meeting is ten (10) days prior to the special town meeting. You may register to vote in
Everett if:

  • you are a citizen of the United States; and
  • you will be at least 18 years of age on or before the next election; and
  • you are a resident of Massachusetts; and
  • you are not currently incarcerated by reason of a felony conviction.
Register to vote